Those Who Save Us: A Novel

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Those Who Save Us: A Novel

by Jenna Blum

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | April 5, 2004 | Hardcover

4.4444 out of 5 rating. 9 Reviews
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For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy''s sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald.

Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother''s life.

Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama, Those Who Save Us is a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 496 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 in

Published: April 5, 2004

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0151010196

ISBN - 13: 9780151010196

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– More About This Product –

Those Who Save Us: A Novel

by Jenna Blum

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 496 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 in

Published: April 5, 2004

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0151010196

ISBN - 13: 9780151010196

Read from the Book

1 THE EVENING IS TYPICAL ENOUGH UNTIL THE DOG BEGINS to choke. And even then, at first, Anna doesn''t bother to turn from the Rouladen she is stuffing for the dinner that she and her father, Gerhard, will share, for the dachshund''s energetic gagging doesn''t strike her as anything unusual. The dog, Spaetzle, is forever eating something he shouldn''t, savaging chicken carcasses and consuming heels of bread without chewing, and such greed is inevitably followed by retching. Privately, Anna thinks him a horrid little creature and has ever since he was first presented to her five years ago on her fourteenth birthday, a gift from her father just after her mother''s death, as if in compensation. It is perhaps unfair to resent Spaetzle for this, but he is also chronically ill-tempered, snapping with his yellowed fangs at everyone except Gerhard; he is really her father''s pet. And grossly fat, as Gerhard is always slipping him tidbits, despite his bellowed admonitions to Anna of Do not! Feed! The dog! From! The table! Now Anna ignores Spaetzle, wishing her hands were not otherwise engaged in the mixing bowl so she could bring them to her ears, but when the choking continues she looks at him with some alarm. He is gasping for breath between rounds of rmmmp rmmmp rmmmp noises, foam flecking his long muzzle. Anna abandons the Rouladen and bends over him, forcing his jaws open to get at whatever is blocking his windpipe, but her fingers, already meat-slick, find no purchase in the dog'
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From the Publisher

For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy''s sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald.

Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother''s life.

Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama, Those Who Save Us is a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame.

About the Author

JENNA BLUM is the New York Times bestselling author of The Stormchasers. Jenna is of German and Jewish descent and spent four years working for Steven Spielberg''s Shoah Foundation, interviewing Holocaust survivors. She teaches fiction for Grub Street Writers. Please visit Jenna at www.jennablum.com, on Facebook and on Twitter: @jenna_blum.

Editorial Reviews

PRAISE FOR THOSE WHO SAVE US

"Jenna Blum''s accomplished first novel, Those Who Save Us, is both vast and intimate in its reach . . . Utterly believable . . .An absorbing tale of two women''s struggles with the burdens and responsibilities of remembrance."-THE BOSTON GLOBE

"The book''s power . . . [lies] in examining the emotional and moral gray area between heroism and collaboration . . .Those Who Save Us bursts with provocative questions about the ambiguous possibilities of culpability."-SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
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